John and I have been happily married for 30 years. We have 3 wonderful sons, 2 beautiful daughters-in-law and 3 terrific grandchildren. Our oldest son Brian and his wife Renee and our oldest grandson Vadin (6) moved home to Idaho this past year and it is so good to have them close.
Andrew, our middle son and his wife Jennie and two grandchildren Andon (6) and Jenna (4) live in Clarkfork, Idaho. Our youngest son J.C. lives in Sagle and we are hoping he finds the love of his life soon so we can have more grandchildren. John thinks there ought to be a way to have the grandkids first, as they are so much fun! One of his favorite pastimes is taking them fishing on Heath Lake. (The lake was named for his great grandfather as they homesteaded the property.)
We have a small 15 acre farm on land that has been in John’s family for generations. John’s parents Chuck and Donna live just down the road as do two of his aunts and uncles. We are very fortunate to have close families. John’s sister Virginia and her husband Sam live near Coeur d’Alene area. Like many of you, we get together for holidays and birthdays and often in between just to visit and share a great meal. Some of Idaho’s best cooks belong to my extended family and they have a top secret apple pie recipe that highly sought after.
My maternal grandmother Eva Rose LaComb/Thurlow/Keller/Nyback was orphaned at the age of 3 and sent to Sandpoint to live with her aunt and uncle in 1910. She married my grandfather Hugh Thurlow when she was just sixteen. They raised their family in Sandpoint. My mother Evelyn was the oldest of their six children. Grandpa was a deputy sheriff here in Bonner County for years.
My paternal grandmother Mamie Ann Thompson/McNearney was born in Albion, Washington; just outside of Pullman in 1893. She married a widower (with 4 children) Samuel Percy McNearney when she was an old maid (her words not mine, she was 27) they had 4 more children; my father Phil McNearney being the oldest of them. They owned a ranch near Colville, Washington in the 1920’s. My grandfather loved the woods and owned and operated logging and sawmill operations. He made beams for many of the buildings in the Eastern Washington area early last century. After WWII started, the family moved to the Sandpoint area where they built a sawmill on Pack River. When my dad came home from the service at the end of the war he settled near Sandpoint with them. He and my mom were married in Thompson Falls, MT on May 23, 1948. My family, like yours, understands what it takes to serve our country and our communities.
I graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1976. My family started Northern Log Homes in 1978. My brother Phil and I own and operate the business in Ponderay. We make machined round house logs, lumber and beams. My husband John and youngest son J.C. build custom log homes for our subsidiary company NLH Development. I own and operate a courier service for a regional medical laboratory. I understand the needs of the small business person. I know how hard you work and how much more it costs to be viable today.
I serve on the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and on the Senate Transportation Committee. Leadership has assigned me as the senate representative on the Western Legisaltive Forestry Task Force, and the Idaho Rural Partnership Board of Directors.